About Me




Born in Vietnam, our family emigrated to the US when I was two. Since growing up in Virginia, I’ve worked in Toronto, Phnom Penh, Bangkok and now Ho Chi Minh City.

My background has always revolved around my love of language. I’ve been a translator, proofreader, teacher, educational manager and now writer and photographer.

As an ENTJ “Field Marshal”, I’ve dedicated my insane and sometimes exhausting focus to traveling. Low and slow. Shabby and chic. I love it all.

As I was telling my friend about an upcoming dream trip around the world (and the sizable chunk of change it was going to cost), he looked at me incredulously. “Think of all the gadgets you could buy with that!” True, travel eats up a huge part of my savings, but looking around my home and seeing the hand-knotted rug that brings back memories of hours of friendly negotiations over milk tea in Kathmandu, or the simply woven grass basket from the Okavango Delta in Botswana or even the soap dish I bought outside of the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo after the freshest sushi breakfast ever, I know that all my travel memories are priceless. Gadgets come and go. Souvenirs break. Rugs fray. But memories last a lifetime. Those are the moments when you experience pure giddiness from seeing something that you’ve dreamed of forever, or something so completely unexpected…

Thank you for coming along on my journey. Please have a look around the site at my magazine writing and photography. For more of me in my more unguarded moments, “like” Fly, Icarus, Fly on Facebook or Twitter. You’ll hear all about wardrobe malfunctions, catch photos of the weird and wild that is my everyday life in Saigon and see things that you cannot unsee.

And no matter where you are in the world, may you experience endless Icarus moments of your own!

Star Trek Travel Lessons - 2013-03 Oi Vietnam


I’d like to thank all the people along the way who have so very generously helped to make this site what it is, namely web developers extraordinaire Regis Terreaux and Carson Sharein. The beautiful watercolor illustrations you see throughout the site are courtesy of the talented Bridget March. And the handwriting font was a gift from the amazing graphic designer Jeroen ‘JOEBOB’ van der Ham. And to all those who’ve contributed your advice, know-how, encouragement and stories, thank you.

8 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Sue Kurtz

    Have a great flight Jimmy. That sounds like an incredible trip you have planned. Btw, when and where was that picture taken with Elizabeth? (in your Asia Makes Me Mad segment).

    1. jt10s Post author

      Hey Sue! That picture was taken ages ago, I’m thinking 8-9 years? It was before Liz got married and was living in Laos, I think. She and Nancy came over for a quick visit to Cambodia. We went to the beach and the local sisters kitted me out!

  2. Andrew

    Hi James,
    Delta is going fine so far and one of the trainees is Paul, a guy you did IDLTM with. Hope your trip is going well. Cheers

    1. jt10s Post author

      Cool. I know you’re in for a lot of work! Some people on the IDLTM said the workload for the DELTA was even more because you’re actually teaching at the same time. Hope you’re getting the chance to enjoy Thailand while you’re at it, though!

      1. Andrew

        I think the enjoying will mostly have to wait until December. Although gastronomically, we are enjoying ourselves.

        1. jt10s Post author

          Yeah, just tough it out. I know you’ll do great. ACE will be fortunate to have you guys back in the new year! I totally miss Asian food! Yesterday, I was heading towards La Latina, the oldest quarter in Madrid and known for its tapas, when all of a sudden I found myself in Chinatown. Not having had Asian food for 3 weeks, I had to fight myself to not sit down for fried rice!

    2. Muri

      This lady works for Saigon Childrens Charity to place young people in work, they run a phatogrophy course and she is interested in speaking to you.My Hien0838296951

      1. James

        Thanks, Muri. I called but she’s out of country… Feel free to have her contact me via email: [email protected]


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